Smoke & Mirrors

I came across an absolutely stunning art installation the other day – unfortunately only digitally – that really captured me. The artist, Pasadena-based Pae White, is enamored with elusive moments, and captures them via unconventional materials.

This is a piece from her play on “smoke & mirrors”, titled “Smoke Knows“, featuring a gigantic silk tapestry with these gorgeous, grand plumes of smoke dancing across the black space. White likes to capture things that shouldn’t be there, or won’t be there for long.

I stared at this image for a really, really long time… Wondering if maybe someday I could please have that silk to create a gown of some kind – maybe a great duvet cover, or an elaborate tailed coat. I’m always fascinated and enamored with things that occur in nature, those of which typically go unnoticed. The varying densities of the smoke combined with its gradients and transparencies defy anything you could attempt to create in photoshop – yet it’s completely natural.

Thus commenced my search for any semblance of delicate, smoke-kissed fabrics. It felt like something I would like to hand off to Thomas Wylde or (sigh) Alexander McQueen. Instead, I was able to find these smoke-reminiscent pieces:


OBEY Stars & Bars Dress
$98

Trust me, I never thought I’d be putting anything tie-dye on B&B either… But the reminiscence is strong with this one, and I can’t deny my lusting. If you’re not into the full dress idea, OBEY also has a skirt version that’s just as gorgeous.


Chan Luu Scarf
$245

I know, ridiculously expensive and silly, but doesn’t it just look like a piece was torn off Pae White’s installation and wrapped around a mannequin? Want.


Ella Moss Haze Wrap Halter Top
$132

It makes me kind of upset when every halter top I see invites thoughts of South Beach, Arizona State University, or the like. Not only is the pattern on this exquisite (check the closeup on the site), but the cut and shape is not “sexy” – it’s elegant, and that makes all the difference.


ASOS Firetrap Stripe Dress
$30.77 (was $102.56)

As far as easy goes, this is tops. I love the semi-structured look of the bustline with the meticulously disheveled hem. Perfect representation of the subject at hand.


Helmut Lang Jersey Shirt
$195

This might be my favorite piece from this collection of smoke-inspired pieces. I’ve loved Helmut Lang since I first spotted his stuff online – and the line continues to impress me.

Patterson J. Kincaid Paris One Pocket Tee
Patterson J. Kincaid Paris One Pocket Tee
$68

Slinky & simple… Do you look at this and see tie-dye after seeing White’s piece? I certainly don’t. I see this under a tuxedo blazer, tucked in to a fitted mini with pumps that could kill…

There’s nothing bohemian about it.